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IJ union decertified

  1. Date Announced

    Nov. 2, 2020

    On reconsideration of its prior decision, the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) decertifies the National Association of Immigration Judges (NAIJ). In its prior decision, the FLRA found that IJs do not create and influence policy, are therefore not management officials, and could unionize accordingly. On reconsideration, the FLRA concludes that it had "failed to recognize the significance of IJ decisions and how those decisions influence policy," and it rules that IJs are management officials and therefore excluded from being part of a collective bargaining unit.

    [ID #213]

    See Biden administration action below.

    View Policy Document
  2. Effective Date of Change

    Nov. 2, 2020
  3. Biden Administration Action

    June 25, 2021

    This Biden administration policy modifies the Trump-era policy identified in this entry.

    On June 25, 2021, EOIR withdrew its opposition to NAIJ's motion for reconsideration before the FLRA. No. WA-RP-19-0067-REC.

Type of Action: Change in Practice
Subject Matter: Hearings and Adjudications
Agencies Affected: EOIR

Prior Policies

  • The Clinton administration previously tried to decertify the immigration judges’ union. The FLRA's 2000 ruling denied the administration's application for review to break up the union.

    Sept. 1, 2000 FLRA Order denying application for review
  • In August 2019, the Trump Administration DOJ filed a petition to decertify NAIJ, arguing that the FLRA's 2000 decision was no longer applicable in light of "factual and legal developments" including increasing numbers of affirmances without opinions (AWOs) issued by the BIA, an increase in credible fear and reasonable fear adjudications, and the Supreme Court's holding in Lucia v. SEC, 138 S.Ct. 2044 (2018).

    FLRA Petition
  • In September 2020, the FLRA denied DOJ's application to review the Regional Director's original Decision and Order, dismissing DOJ's decertification petition.

    DOJ v NAIJ, 56 FLRA 97

Biden Administration Action


Trump Administration Moves to Decertify Outspoken Immigration Judges’ Union

Go to article

Eighty Members of Congress Call on DOJ to Withdraw Petition to Decertify NAIJ

Go to article

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